The idea of beauty is always shifting. Today, it’s more inclusive than ever.

Whom we deem ‘beautiful’ is a reflection of our values. Now, a more expansive world has arrived where ‘we are all beautiful.’

Halima Aden broke barriers when she wore a hijab on the cover of British Vogue and in Sports Illustrated’s 2019 swimsuit issue. Here, her makeup is applied during Modest Fashion Week in Istanbul, Turkey, which celebrates a different side of fashion. Born a Somali refugee in Kenya, Aden moved to the United States and was the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant to wear a hijab and burkini.

The Sudanese model Alek Wek appeared on the November 1997 cover of the U.S. edition of Elle magazine, in a photograph by French creative director Gilles Bensimon. It was, as is so often the case in the beauty business, a global production.

Wek, with her velvety ebony skin and mere whisper of an Afro, was posed in front of a stark, white screen. Her simple, white Giorgio Armani blazer almost disappeared into the background. Wek, however, was intensely present.

She was standing at an angle but looking directly into the camera with a pleasant smile spread across her face, which wasn’t so much defined by planes and angles as by sweet, broad, distinctly African curves. Wek represented everything that a traditional cover girl was not.

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